At least you’re not a beetle.22.05.2013
Hello there, Peter from the UK here. As my default facial expression is a smile, it was only a matter of time before the lofty title of Smile of the Week was passed to me. As I am Eco Assistant here at KISC, I would like to take the time to tell you about my favourite animal, Darwin’s Beetle.
Now, if you think you have a tough life, spare a thought for the male Darwin’s Beetle. In order to find a female partner a male must climb all the way up to the top of a tree where the females are waiting for them, much like a insect-rapunzel awaiting their knight in shining wing-cases. An experienced climber would find this task hard, as most of these trees are at least 20m high, so for the Darwin’s Beetle it much be like climbing Everest! And as beetle’s are not known for their ability to use climbing equipment, let alone lead climb, this is a hard task indeed. Now you might think that their ordeal is over having reached the top of the tree but no, the trials of the Darwin’s Beetle are anything but done. Once he reaches the top, a male will usually find than another male has beaten him to it, and has already found the female. Now, rather than admitting defeat and heading back down the tree, the Darwin’s Beetle is equipped with some useful tools for bug-to-bug combat: a very long pair of jaws which can be used to reach under another male and flick them off the tree. So, males will fight each other 20m up in the treetops trying to flip the other male off the tree and all of this after having climbed 20m up a tree - what a life! Unfortunately for one unlucky male the worst does indeed happen – he falls 20m back down to the ground, and his quest for a female starts all over again at the base of the tree.
So next time you are finding life a little to hard, and feel that the world is up against you, remember the plight of the lowly Darwin’s Beetle. No matter how tough life gets, you’ll never get thrown out of the top of a tree. Hopefully!